Surprise, surprise – a good two months have elapsed since my last blog post, but it’s been a difficult time so I hope I can be half forgiven. I would like to write a more in depth post at a later date exploring exactly how devastating negative thoughts can be but for today, this is enough.
I’m forgoing a lengthy intro, so here’s a follow-up entry to my previous post entitled ‘Demonstrating Depression: Living with the Black Dog’.
For a while now, I’d thought things were going better. I thought I’d finally been getting a hold of these cyclical, all-consuming thoughts. I thought I was starting to combat them and that I was winning at last.
Ironic that I chose to believe those thoughts and let them dictate my actions and emotions just as I had the ones that constantly threaten to drag me down.
Typical. This is what I get for positive thinking – disappointment, just like I’d always feared. After all, the dark clouds always return. The bad thoughts eventually overpower the good, so what’s the point in trying?
It’s absolutely exhausting to keep fighting and only a matter of time until I succumb to the numbness; give way to the sadness.
Staring blankly at my screen as I write this, my mind is a fog. My eyes blur in and out of focus and it’s like everything is softened, dulled. And maybe it’s the tiredness or maybe it’s the medication or maybe it’s me losing my mind.
Yet somehow critical thoughts and self-deprecation pierce the fog, almost like shouts waking me from a day-dream.
“You’re a bad person. No wonder everyone leaves.”
“All you ever do is use and abuse people – you don’t really care about them. What an awful human being you are.”
“You never get anywhere because you’re lazy and that’s why you’ll never be successful or happy.”
“This is your fault and now you deserve to suffer for it. I hope you are happy for what you have done.”
Wave after wave of self-loathing, bullying and abuse washes over my consciousness – eroding away at the flood defences I have built around my mind, faster than I can repair them. Each thought reinforces the previous, sending me spiralling further and further into a paralysis of fear, anxiety and despair.
If I’m no good at something, then I might as well not try. If I never try, then clearly I’m lazy. If I’m lazy, then clearly I’m a bad person. If I’m a bad person, I can’t live with myself and must be punished.
And so the cycle continues.
At times, I feel as though I’m choking on my own inadequacy and to talk or even walk is hard. I feel wrenched by a deep, unrelenting ache or heaviness in my stomach like a suppressed scream or sob because I’m just not good enough and I never will be.
I feel like a fraud and a fool for ever thinking I’d made any progress. I was just kidding myself, I’m actually an awful person and have just been faking it the whole time by being lazy and not facing my fears.
Time keeps passing and I see people crossing oceans, yet I stay stuck here treading water just to avoid drowning. How do I move past this? How can I possibly move on when I am wreaked by self-doubt and hatred? It’s as though my own mind is programmed to bring me down and it’s far stronger, far crueller, far more unforgiving than any childhood bully I ever encountered.
Its unrelenting desire to criticise sees thoughts, fears and paranoia virtually silence any rational thought such that all I feel is terror, dread and an aching, insatiable loneliness. I feel sick and exhausted and ache all over, like I haven’t slept for weeks. All I want is sleep.
But to go back to sleep or stay hidden away is to give in and let myself be smothered by the darkness. Some days I win, some days the darkness wins.
Today the darkness triumphs.
Disclaimer: This is by no means a representation of depression as a whole as symptoms and experiences vary widely. This is purely an individual perspective.